It is my favorite moment in Christmas worship in every church I’ve gone to. The lights dim, the music starts, everyone gets quiet, and the fire from the Christ candle on the Advent wreath spreads through the church as we pass the flame from candle to candle. Silent Night ...
It was another kind of silence that brought this beloved hymn to life. In 1818 at a chapel near Salzburg, Austria, Christmas preparations were underway when organist Franz Gruber found that the organ had failed and wouldn’t work for Christmas. A young priest, Joseph Mohr, had written some lyrics a couple years earlier and asked Gruber to set them to a tune they could sing easily with guitar accompaniment to replace the organ.
People liked it, but they mostly forgot about it. When the organ was repaired several years later, the organ builder found the music laying with the organ pipes, had it published, and it was a hit!
We are full of expectations during the Christmas season. The perfect gifts. Perfect family time. Perfect music. We’ve spent the entire season of Advent working and waiting for everything to come together, for the wrapping to come off, for school to let out, and to finally light that fifth candle on the Advent wreath so we can share the light of Christmas with each other. Silent Night ... What a testament to the promise of Christmas that even when things don’t go according to plan, we still receive the gift of God’s love.
Celebrate Christmas with us this Sunday at 6, 8, and 11 pm – each of the services will include communion, candle-lighting, and a weepy music director trying to make his way through his favorite song ...
Come and congratulate Bob Burnette as he wraps up 30 years on the organ bench at Lord of Life. His last worship moment will be on Christmas Eve, but we’ll celebrate him Sunday, December 17.
Bob has been part of the worship and music staff from our earliest days, when Pastor Ed Williams was called to establish a mission start in the Mason/West Chester area. Bob has served faithfully through three pastors, three interns, and numerous pulpit supply pastors and interim ministers. He has led worship for over 2,000 services, including early leadership for Sunday mornings in the borrowed spaces of St. John Catholic Church and the Lakota West Freshman building, before we had a building here. Over the years, he has played for countless weddings and funerals, as well as accompanied a whole variety of musical ensembles.
On December 17, please take a moment in between 8 and 9:30 worship to greet Bob and share your memories and well wishes with him.
Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service – these are all things that bring us together each week within our community at Lord of Life. There shouldn’t be any surprise that the same things could bring together people from other communities, too. Our first REFORM event with Roman Catholics and Lutherans from West Chester and Mason exceeded our expectations of how powerful the experience would be.
We began with a worship moment led by musicians from St. Max, Christ the King, and Lord of Life (the next event will include leadership from St. John’s as well). Through common words and common songs, we infused the evening with a joyful prayer that continued into our conversations. We heard from Lutheran and Catholic clergy from St. Susannah Catholic (Mason), Prince of Peace Lutheran (Loveland), and Zion Lutheran (Middletown) who presented different views, but we heard even more common views. We listened to a biblical message that defined us all as part of the same vine. The same body. One faith, one hope, and one baptism.
I found myself at a table made up of Catholics from various parishes. We asked questions and discussed among ourselves how we each came to the body of Christ and what that means to us. About half the table had been born into the Catholic church. But one young woman shared how she found the church through an ecumenical sports team. An older gentleman started going to Methodist Sunday school after his mother died when he was nine, and then converted to Catholicism after years of seeing the positive impact the church had on his wife. We all had stories about how we saw people’s faith overflow in their actions.
The thread that kept weaving its way to the top was: “We need to do more of this.” We need to find ways to maintain the natural bond we have through Christ and the Spirit. We need to worship together and talk together and serve together. Our connection to each other is too powerful to let ourselves be kept apart.
As the clock forced the evening to a close, we put notes on a door describing how we wanted to move forward in our relationships. More combined worship. More dialogues. More learning. More outreach opportunities together. Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service.
Even though the next two REFORM events are self-contained – they are three separate events rather than one continued event, I suspect we’ll see some of the same faces coming again and again because we are so inspired to move forward as one body. Come be a part of the conversation on October 19 at 7 pm at Christ the King or October 21 at 10 am at St. Max.
The 2017-2018 Ministry Magazine is available in print at Lord of Life or by downloading the file below!
Children’s Choir - Sundays, 10:30 am
Children Kindergarten through 5th Grade will rehearse immediately following 9:30 am Worship.
Youth Praise Band - Rehearsals Tuesdays, 5 pm
Youth from 6th grade through high school are invited to be part of the youth praise band which plays occasionally contemporary worship services.
Adult Choir - Tuesdays, 7 pm
The adult choir sings primarily at the 8 am service. They rehearse and sing weekly throughout the program year.
Grace Notes (Adult Praise Band) - Thursdays, 7 pm
Grace Notes leads worship musically at 9:30 and 11 am. They rehearse weekly throughout the program year and sing contemporary praise songs.
Bell Choir - Mondays, 6 pm
If you can count to four and know your left from your right, you can ring bells!
Sunday, December 17
1:30 - 4 pm
meet in the Fellowship Hall
All ages and abilities are welcome! The Confirmation and Senior High youth lead the way as Lord of Life goes Christmas Caroling. Join the youth in visiting local shut ins and a variety of other folks to spread the Christmas Cheer!
This Sunday, December 10
in the Fellowship Hall
What do you get when you put together Lord of Life's families, a familiar story with a star named baby Jesus, and a little bit of creativity? It's an instant Christmas show! Designed with your busy family in mind, this no-stress event includes dinner, activities, and a Christmas show. Who should come? Everyone! Kids of all ages, Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Neighbors, and Friends. Even camels are welcome!